Hello VirenDidNothingWrong, I'll be the teaching assistant handling your lesson 5 critique.

Starting with your organic intersections you're doing a good job of drawing your forms slumping and sagging around each other with a sense of gravity. Some of your lines are looking just a little bit wobbly in this exercise, so make sure you're taking the time to use the ghosting method, and execute your lines with confidence, from the shoulder.

You're doing fairly well with your shadows, you're pushing most of them far enough to project onto the form below, and their direction is fairly consistent. Some of the edges of your shadow shapes are a bit choppy. I find it helps to draw the shadow shape with a fineliner first, then carefully fill it in with the brush pen. Where the shadows are really thin and pointy it may be easier to fill them with the fineliner, if you have trouble keeping control of your line thickness with the brush.

The next point isn't necessarily a mistake, since it is not clearly defined in the instructions for this exercise. In future, it will help you develop your spatial reasoning skills if you draw each form in its entirety (drawing through) instead of allowing some of them to get cut off when they pass behind another form. You do draw through some of your forms, and that's great, but I've highlighted an example of an incomplete form on your work here to illustrate the point.

Moving on to your animal constructions I can see your spatial reasoning skills are improving in leaps and bounds. You're showing an understanding of how the forms you draw exist in 3D space and connect together with specific relationships. I'm really pleased that you went to the trouble of fully constructing most of your far side legs and figuring out how they connect to the far side of the body. Most of your constructions are feeling pretty three dimensional, and you're doing a good job, but of course I do have some advice that should help you to continue to get the most out of these exercises in future.

I'm happy to see you're working with the sausage method to construct your legs. Sometimes your leg sausage forms aren't sticking to the characteristics of simple sausages as introduced here. Sometimes they're bloated, swelling continuously throughout their midsections, and sometimes they're just generally a bit irregular. here I've highlighted an example on your bear. If I remember correctly, your organic forms exercise was quite good in your lesson 4 homework, so really you'll just want to make sure you're taking proper care to stick to organic forms more closely when applying them to leg constructions in future.

On the whole, I can see you've made a real effort to take actions on your constructions in 3D by adding complete forms when you want to build or alter something. There are a few spots where you make a quick addition with a single line or partial shape instead of drawing a complete form. Here is an example with the feet of your water buffalo. To get the most out of these constructions you want to be drawing complete forms for everything. For a clearer example of how to think about foot construction these notes by Uncomfortable show how to use a boxy form for the foot, then more, smaller boxy forms for the toes.

Fortunately, in the majority of cases you are working on using additional forms to build on your constructions. One thing that helps with the shape here is to think about how the mass would behave when existing first in the void of empty space, on its own. It all comes down to the silhouette of the mass - here, with nothing else to touch it, our mass would exist like a soft ball of meat or clay, made up only of outward curves. A simple circle for a silhouette.

Then, as it presses against an existing structure, the silhouette starts to get more complex. It forms inward curves wherever it makes contact, responding directly to the forms that are present. The silhouette is never random, of course - always changing in response to clear, defined structure. You can see this demonstrated in this diagram.

So, for example, I've redrawn some of the additional masses along the back of this water buffalo. As you can see, in blue I've redrawn the shoulder and thigh masses quite a bit bigger. We can think of these masses as a simplification of some of the bulky muscles that allow the animal to walk, so don't be afraid to be more generous with them. I've then used these structures to help anchor the additional masses. Note the inward curves in those additional masses where they press against those shoulder and thigh masses. The more interlocked they are, the more spatial relationships we define between the masses, the more solid and grounded everything appears. Also note where I've overlapped the masses, I've drawn through them, so we can understand how they overlap in 3D space.

I've put some more notes on additional masses on your hybrid.

In green I noted where you'd done a good job wrapping that mass around the thigh, and I'd also wrapped that mass around the blue mass in 3D space.

In red I'd redrawn the belly mass, which was soft and rounded all the way round its silhouette. This lack of complexity robs us of the tools we need to explain the relationship between the additional mass and the underlying structures, which makes the additional mass feel flat. You can see this demonstrated in this diagram. So I extended this mass and wrapped it between the legs to give it a better grip on those underlying structures.

In purple I made a point of including an additional form that does not directly impact the silhouette. You're off to a decent start in the use of additional masses along your leg structures, but this can be pushed farther. A lot of these focus primarily on forms that actually impact the silhouette of the overall leg, but there's value in exploring the forms that exist "internally" within that silhouette - like the missing puzzle piece that helps to further ground and define the ones that create the bumps along the silhouette's edge. Here is an example of what I mean, from another student's work - as you can see, Uncomfortable has blocked out masses along the leg there, and included the one fitting in between them all, even though it doesn't influence the silhouette. This way of thinking - about the inside of your structures, and fleshing out information that isn't just noticeable from one angle, but really exploring the construction in its entirety, will help you yet further push the value of these constructional exercises and puzzles.

I noticed that there are cases where you're using a lot of contour lines to try and make your masses feel more solid, such as this dino. -Unfortunately however, this is actually working against you. Those contour lines serve to help a particular mass feel 3D, but in isolation. With additional masses, our goal is actually to make the forms feel 3D by establishing how they wrap around and relate to the existing structure - that is something we achieve entirely through the design of their silhouette. While adding lines that don't contribute isn't the worst thing in the world, there is actually a more significant downside to using them in this way. They can convince us that we have something we can do to "fix" our additional masses after the fact, which in turn can cause us to put less time and focus into designing them in the first place (with the intent of "fixing" it later). So, I would actively avoid using additional contour lines in the future (though you may have noticed Uncomfortable use them in the intro video for this lesson, something that will be corrected once the overhaul of the demo material reaches this far into the course - you can think of these critiques as a sort of sneak-peak that official critique students get in the meantime).

When it comes to texture and detail, I get the impression that you're a little muddled-up on the difference between form shadows and cast shadows. Form shadows are the shadows on a form, where the side facing away from the light is darker because less light hits it. Cast shadows occur when one form blocks the light from hitting another form- they are cast from one form onto another. So looking at this cow for example, you seem to be using solid black to indicate the side of the forms facing away from the light. For a fuller explanation I recommend you review this section from lesson 2 and the one below it, which cover why we don't use form shading in this course, and explain the difference between form shadows and cast shadows.

Remember that when using texture in this course you should be using the shapes of cast shadows to implicitly describe the smaller forms on an object's surface. You're telling the viewer how that surface feels. This has nothing to do with what color the surface happens to be. So for example looking at the tail of this trash panda there would be no reason to put more ink on the fur that is a darker color to describe the stripey markings. These reminders are a good section to review if you're unsure about how to handle texture in this course.

The last thing I wanted to talk about is head construction. Lesson 5 has a lot of different strategies for constructing heads, between the various demos. Given how the course has developed, and how Uncomfortable is finding new, more effective ways for students to tackle certain problems. So not all the approaches shown are equal, but they do have their uses. As it stands, as explained at the top of the tiger demo page (here), the current approach that is the most generally useful, as well as the most meaningful in terms of these drawings all being exercises in spatial reasoning, is what you'll find here in this informal head demo.

There are a few key points to this approach:

1- The specific shape of the eye sockets - the specific pentagonal shape allows for a nice wedge in which the muzzle can fit in between the sockets, as well as a flat edge across which we can lay the forehead area.

2- This approach focuses heavily on everything fitting together - no arbitrary gaps or floating elements. This allows us to ensure all of the different pieces feel grounded against one another, like a three dimensional puzzle.

3- We have to be mindful of how the marks we make are cuts along the curving surface of the cranial ball - working in individual strokes like this (rather than, say, drawing the eye socket with an ellipse) helps a lot in reinforcing this idea of engaging with a 3D structure.

Try your best to employ this method when doing constructional drawing exercises using animals in the future, as closely as you can. Sometimes it seems like it's not a good fit for certain heads, but as shown in in this banana-headed rhino it can be adapted for a wide array of animals.

I can see that you're thinking of your head constructions as 3D puzzles. I would advise you to take your time with these, there are places where your line work isn't as careful as it could be, with some scratchy little marks, or wobbly lines. I've redrawn the eye sockets on this bear to make the lines clearer. These principles of markmaking that were introduced in lesson 1 apply to every line you draw in this course, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.

Okay, I think that covers it. While there are things you can work on, and room for further growth, you're doing quite well and showing a good understanding of these constructional exercises so I'll leave you to apply this feedback independently. Feel free to move on to the 250 cylinder challenge, which is a prerequisite for lesson 6.